The creation of a brain atlas for image guided neurosurgery using serial histological data
Digital and print brain atlases have been used with success to help in the planning of neurosurgical interventions. In this paper, a technique presented for the creation of a brain atlas of the basal ganglia and the thalamus derived from serial histological data. Photographs of coronal histological sections were digitized and anatomical structures were manually segmented. A slice-to-slice nonlinear registration technique was used to correct for spatial distortions introduced into the histological data set at the time of acquisition. Since the histological data were acquired without any anatomical reference (e.g., block-face imaging, post-mortem MRI), this registration technique was optimized to use an error metric which calculates a nonlinear transformation minimizing the mean distance between the segmented contours between adjacent pairs of slices in the data set. A voxel-by-voxel intensity correction field was also estimated for each slice to correct for lighting and staining inhomogeneity. The reconstructed three-dimensional (3D) histological volume can be viewed in transverse and sagittal directions in addition to the original coronal.
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